Future deep space missions might not take as long as you’d think. Scientists said they’ve discovered a Solar System “superhighway” network of routes that would allow probes and other spacecraft to travel outward at and at a quicker pace.
For instance, Asteroids near Jupiter could reach Neptune’s distance in less than 10 years and 100AU, which is almost three times Neptune’s distance from the Sun in 100 years. Spacecraft would theoretically be faster.
Scientists found the Superhighway routes by computing how “millions” of Solar System orbits fit inside known space manifolds or arch structures that extend from the asteroid belt.
The approach could reduce the time it takes to visit the outer reaches of the Solar System. That might also lead to more efficient trips by slashing off on the amount of energy involved to move forward.
The research result could be used to study near-Earth objects that might threaten the planet, too. You aren’t about to visit the farthest reaches of the system any time soon, and this could help humanity in its exploration of the cosmic neighborhood without wasting too many years on each journey.